"One of the perennial questions in American public life is how to negotiate the complex relationship between religion and politics. In Christians in the Public Square, Ellen Ott Marshall offers a fresh perspective on this debate that reflects her own theological and pedagogical struggle to move beyond divisive ideological debates over complex social issues. Her goal is an engaged public discourse that offers the possibility of transforming how we express our religiosity in the public square and how we engage one another in public discourse. While her perspective as a progressive Christian is clearly grounded in the liberal theological tradition and influenced by liberation theology, her ready engagement with criticisms of these traditions reflects her methodological interest in listening to her opponents in order to understand better the locus of their disagreement. This method enables Marshall to develop relationships with people with whom she disagrees rather than to fall into stereotypical assessments of her adversaries that dehumanize and objectify them. This desire to figure out how to 'advocate a position without demonizing the person who thinks differently' is the heart of Marshall's contribution to the debates of religion and public life."
--Rebecca Todd Peters, Professor of Religious Studies, Elon University
"On many of the pressing issues of the time--ranging from immigration to gun control--lines have been drawn, and there appears to be little room for reasoned discourse. How ought Christians respond? The conventional wisdom is that 'religion' only compounds the problem of public discourse, but it is something of a fantasy to suppose that it can simply be set aside or bracketed as inessential to our political selves. In Christians in the Public Square, Ellen Ott Marshall acknowledges the dangers posed by the politics of division, the rhetoric of certitude, and the claim of divine endorsement. The remedy to these vices, she contends, is not the exclusion of religion from the public sphere, but the cultivation of three corresponding Christian virtues--love, appreciation of moral ambiguity, and theological humility. By performing the virtues she recommends, Marshall issues a call to transform politics. Christians in the Public Square is a contemporary classic of Christian political ethics."
--Richard Amesbury, Professor of Theological Ethics and Director of the Institute for Social Ethics, University of Zurich, Switzerland